Reza Aslan to Host a CNN TV Series

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan, professor of creative writing, will host a television series that will debut on CNN in 2016.

CNN describes “Believer” as a “spiritual adventure series.”

“In each episode, Aslan will immerse himself into one of the world’s most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer,” CNN said in announcing the series on March 10. “The series will feature Aslan participating in endurance worship, spellbinding rituals, and unusual rites of passage to learn about rarefied worlds that have been molded by faith and tradition.”

Santa Monica-based Whalerock Industries will produce the program.

Aslan told the Press-Enterprise that the project is an opportunity to reach a broad audience. “This is very much along the lines of the work I’ve always been doing to explain different religions to people, and for people to discover the connections between their own faiths and that of other communities,” he said. “This is just a different platform.”

2015 John Stanley Memorial Colloquium Set For April 2

Two distinguished Spanish scholars who have been studying the development of political ideas in Latin America, Spain and Portugal in the late 18th century and 19th century will address the topic “Political Concepts in the Iberian World” in the 2015 John Stanley Memorial Colloquium on April 2 at 11 a.m. in College Building South 114.

Javier Fernández Sebastián from the University of the Basque Country will discuss “Vocabularies of Modern Politics in the Iberian Atlantic.” Gonzalo Capellán of the University of La Rioja will present “The Concept of Democracy in Nineteenth Century Iberoamerica.”

Both scholars play key roles in the Ibero-American Conceptual History Project (IBERCONCEPTOS) that began in 2004 and includes scores of researchers examining “the most important concepts, languages, vocabularies, discourses and political metaphors in circulation in the Ibero-American world during recent centuries,” according to the project’s website.

“The development of ideas in those places and in those times was much more sophisticated and complex than most of us realize,” said John Christian Laursen, UCR professor of political science. “Work produced so far in this project includes two large volumes of a Diccionario politico y social del mundo iberoamericano [Dictionary of Political and Social Concepts in the Iberoamerican world], which has covered concepts such as America, constitution, liberty, and public opinion in 12 countries and over the years 1770-1870.”

The colloquium is named in honor of John Stanley, whom Laursen said was a “much-loved political theorist” at UCR from 1965 to 1998. The event is presented by the Center for Ideas and Society and the Department of Political Science.

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